Petrobras HQ

Petrobras, SBM officials charged with bribery

RIO DE JANEIRO, December 18, 2015 – Brazilian prosecutors charged 12 people with bribery on Thursday for involvement in a scheme at state-run Petrobras and Dutch oil production ship leasing company SBM Offshore.

Former Petrobras executives Pedro Barusco, Jorge Zelada and Renato Duque, as well as three former sales agents, two former CEOs and a former senior vice-president from SBM were charged with corruption.


Between 1998 and 2012, at least USD 46 million of non-contract payments were made in Switzerland to Petrobras officials in relation to floating oil production, storage and offloading contracts, according to prosecutors. The investigation revealed that Duque, who was arrested for corruption in September, asked SBM sales agents for $300 million to fund the 2010 election campaign of the ruling Workers’ Party.

Sources told Reuters that SBM was negotiating a leniency agreement with the Brazilian government. The charges follow a formal invitation from Petrobras to SBM to participate in the state-controlled company’s tenders last week. The Dutch company was banned for bidding in contracts because of another bribery investigation dubbed “Car Wash,” ongoing since March 2014.

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